8 Ways To Protect Tomato Plants From Heat (Heat Wave? No Problem!
When it comes to growing tomatoes, protecting them from extreme heat is essential. While there are many ways to do this, some methods are more effective than others.
In this blog post, we’ll explore some of the best ways to protect your tomato plants from extreme heat.
By following these tips, you can ensure that your plants stay healthy and productive even in the hottest conditions.
How Heat Affects Tomato Plants
As gardeners, we all know that different plants have different ideal growing conditions. Some like it hot, some like it cold, some like it wet, and some like it dry. But what happens when the conditions that our plants are accustomed to suddenly change?
For tomato plants, high temperatures can be disastrous. While a few hours of heat stress won’t kill your plants, it can severely impact their fruit production.
When temperatures climb above 90 degrees Fahrenheit during the day and 75 degrees at night, tomato plants begin to experience stress. This stress prevents the flowers from pollinating, which in turn reduces the amount of fruit that the plant produces.
In addition, the plant will put all of its energy into surviving the heat wave, rather than producing fruit. This can leave you with a bumper crop of green tomatoes that never ripen.
If the heat wave is prolonged, the leaves of your tomato plants may begin to droop, dry out, and fall off. This not only exposes the fruits to sunscald, but it also prevents the plant from photosynthesizing and generating the food it needs to survive.
So, what can you do to protect your tomato plants from high temperatures?
When the temperatures start to rise, it’s important to take steps to protect your tomato plants from extreme heat. So, what can you do to protect your tomato plants from high temperatures?
Read more: How Heat Affects Tomato Plants: What You Need to Know
Here are eight tips to help 8 Tips To Protect Tomato Plants From Extreme Heat
1. Choosing a Heat-tolerant Tomato Variety
Not all tomatoes are created equal when it comes to heat tolerance. Some varieties are better equipped to handle the heat than others. Another important factor is location.
If you live in an area with a hot climate, you’ll need to take extra care to ensure your tomatoes have enough water and are protected from the sun.
Here are a few heat-tolerant tomato varieties to consider:
Apache: This variety is heat tolerant and produces small, pear-shaped fruit.
Heatwave: As the name suggests, this variety is well-suited to hot climates. It produces round, red fruit.
Sunmaster: Another good option for hot climates, Sunmaster tomatoes are large and round.
Solar Set: This variety is bred for heat tolerance and produces small, oval fruit.
Tropical: As the name suggests, this variety does well in warm climates. It produces small, round fruit.
When choosing a heat-tolerant tomato variety, it’s important to consider your specific needs and growing conditions.
2. Planting in The Right Location
Where you plant your tomatoes can make a big difference in how well they tolerate the heat.
Tomatoes are heat-loving plants, so they thrive in warm weather. However, too much heat can cause the fruits to split or crack. If you want to avoid this, you should grow your tomatoes in a location that doesn’t get too hot.
One way to do this is to choose a spot that gets plenty of sunlight, but isn’t in direct sunlight all day long. You can also try planting your tomatoes in a raised bed or on a trellis to keep them off the ground and out of the heat.
If you live in an area with very hot summers, you may need to take extra precautions to protect your tomatoes from the heat. Try covering them with a light-colored cloth during the hottest part of the day, or setting up a fan to blow air over them.
With a little care, you can successfully grow tomatoes even in hot weather. Just be sure to choose a location that won’t be too hot for them, and take steps to protect them from the heat if necessary.
3. Provide Adequate Shade
When it comes to tomato plants, providing them with a little bit of shade can be beneficial in a number of ways. For one, it can help to protect the plants from the harsh rays of the sun, which can scorch their leaves and cause them to dry out. Additionally, shade can help to keep the soil around the plants cool and moist, which is ideal for tomatoes.
In terms of how much shade to provide tomato plants, it really depends on the climate and weather conditions in your area. If you live in an area with hot, dry summers, then your tomato plants will likely benefit from being in a spot that gets some afternoon shade.
On the other hand, if you live in a cooler climate with milder summers, then full sun should be fine for your tomato plants.
Ultimately, it’s important to experiment a bit and see what works best for your plants. If you find that your tomato plants are struggling in full sun, try giving them a little bit of shade and see if that makes a difference.
If you can’t find a naturally shady spot for your plants, you can create your own shade. Use a piece of burlap or a light-colored tarp to cover your plants during the hottest part of the day.
Be sure to remove the shade during the cooler hours so that the plants can get the sunlight they need.
Read more: 13 Tomato Varieties That Perfectly Grow In The Shade
4. Water Correctly
When the temperatures outside start to climb, it’s important to make sure your tomato plants are properly watered. Tomatoes need to be watered regularly, but during periods of extreme heat, they will need even more water.
Be careful though, as overwatering can lead to your plants getting heat stress, which can impact their growth and yield.
Here are a few tips for watering your tomato plants in hot weather:
1. Check the soil before watering. Stick your finger into the soil to see if it’s dry. If it is, it’s time to water.
2. Water early in the day. Watering in the morning will give your plants time to absorb the water before the hot sun hits them.
3. Avoid getting water on the leaves. Water that sits on the leaves can bake in the sun and cause leaf spot.
4. Use a soaker hose or drip irrigation. These methods help reduce water evaporation and help the water reach the roots of the plants.
By following these tips, you can help your tomato plants stay healthy during the hot summer months.
Read more: 5 Signs Of Over Watered Tomato Plants
5. Adding Mulch Around Your Plant
When the weather heats up, it’s important to take steps to protect your tomato plants. Mulching is one of the best ways to do this.
Mulching helps to keep the soil cool and moist, which is critical for tomato plant health. It also helps to prevent weed growth and soil erosion.
There are many different types of mulch that can be used, but organic materials such as straw or leaves are generally the best.
Here are three benefits of mulching your tomato plants in hot weather:
Mulching protects your plants from the intense heat of the sun, keeping the roots cool and moist.
Mulching conserves moisture in the soil, preventing your plants from drying out.
Mulching helps to prevent weeds from germinating and competing with your plants for water and nutrients.
6. Don’t Over Fertilize
Tomatoes do not need a lot of fertilizer, and too much fertilizer can actually stress plants and make them more susceptible to heat damage. If you do fertilize, use a light hand and be sure to follow the directions on the fertilizer package.
When the temperatures start to rise, it can be tempting to give your tomato plants a little extra boost with some fertilizer. However, it’s important to resist the urge to do so in hot weather.
Fertilizing your plants when it’s already hot outside can actually do more harm than good. Tomatoes do not need a lot of fertilizer, and too much fertilizer can actually stress plants and make them more susceptible to heat damage
It’s best to wait until the weather cools down before fertilizing your tomato plants. This will help them stay healthy and produce a bounty of delicious fruits for you to enjoy.
Read more: How to Properly Fertilize Tomato Plants for Optimal Growth
7. Beware of Pest and Diseases
Pests and diseases can be a problem for tomato plants at any time of year, but they are especially troublesome during periods of extreme heat.
When the weather outside is unbearably hot, it’s important to keep a close eye on your tomato plants. Prolonged heat waves can cause tomato plants to become heat-stressed, which makes them far more susceptible to damage from pests and diseases.
Healthy plants typically have the ability to fend off many pests and diseases on their own. However, when the plant is heat-stressed, it loses this ability and becomes much more vulnerable to outside invaders.
If left untreated, pests and diseases can wreak havoc on your tomato garden. It will also take the plants far longer to recover from a pest or disease problem under conditions of heat stress.
Therefore, at the first sight of a pest or sign of disease, it’s important to deal with the problem immediately to give your plant the best chance of survival.
Read more: 10 Tomato Plant Pests Your Tomato Plants Hate (MUST READ!
8. Ripen Tomato Plants Indoors
When the temperatures outside are consistently high, it can interfere with the ripening process of tomatoes. If your tomato plants have stopped producing red pigments and the fruits are only ripening to orange, or if they are refusing to ripen at all, you can remove them and allow them to finish ripening indoors in a warm spot.
This will ensure that the fruits reach their full potential and don’t go to waste.
Hot weather can adversely affect tomato plants, causing fruit to mature too quickly or to stop setting fruit altogether. By choosing a heat-tolerant variety and situating plants carefully, providing enough shade and water correctly, gardeners can help ensure that their tomato plants will thrive despite the heat.